Are student midwives influenced by the 'traditional' (non evidence based) practices of their clinical mentors?
AuthorsArmstrong, Nicola A.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractAim The aim of this study was to find out whether cohorts of final year pre-registered midwifery students are influenced by the ‘traditional’ (non evidence-based) practices of their clinical mentors. This was thought to be worthy for a number of reasons. Foremost, it is said that; where pre-registered students are allocated to a clinical placement, the workplace should ensure that the provision of care is based on relevant research-based and evidence-based findings. It is also said that clinical mentors should have a good knowledge base in order to identify, apply and disseminate research findings within their area of practice. Against this, there is a growing concern that many practices are based on tradition, rather than on sound evidence. The consequence of this is that; if students adopt the traditional practices of their mentors it may have implications on how students may practice when they qualify, and in turn, they may pass on these traditions to future students. More importantly, it is essential that midwifery practice is informed by the best available evidence and where this philosophy is lacking, it may not only impact on students learning, but more importantly it can impact on the quality of patient care. Method and Design The data collection method included a survey of a finite population, which consisted of all final year pre-registered midwifery students, who were based at five midwifery cohorts. A total of 145 students were available for inclusion. The sample was asked to complete a questionnaire, which predominantly utilised a 5-point Likert scale and was designed to yield some ‘open’ responses. Analysis The quantitative data was amenable to statistical analysis which was coded into the computer software. A grounded theory approach was utilised to analyse the ‘open response’ data. Findings There was a sufficient amount of evidence to assert that; the students were influenced by their mentors’ traditional practices. The findings also strongly supported the idea that; what was taught in the Higher Education Institution (HEI), did not always equate to the workplace realities and while the HEI advocated students to employ evidence-based practices (EBP), the students were more likely to adopt the traditional practices of their mentors. While statistically the majority of students perceived that they would challenge their mentors if they did not employ EBP’s, their comments overall conflicted with these findings. Indeed, many perceived that; to challenge their mentors could potentially jeopardise their clinical assessments and or career prospects. The most significant finding was that there appeared to be a multitude of barriers that prevented the students from employing EBP’s, however, they believed they would utilise these practices once they had qualified.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionLetters of ethical approval for dissertation are not included.
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